When I moved into this four-unit house last May there was a young guy named Paul, a convenience store clerk living directly beneath my second-floor apartment. He and his buddies, several of whom hung out with him at his apartment, were pot-smokers and video-gamers. Paul eventually decided to go back to college and told me he was moving out, and mentioned that his buddy Gerald wanted to move in to the place.
By this time our landlord was in Romania for a year with his wife. I asked Gerald, “So did you talk with the landlord about this before he left?”
“Oh, yeah, we got it all settled.”
I was suspicious, so I e-mailed the landlord; he told me in a return message that he had never met or talked with Gerald.
I usually ran into Gerald every day or so. He didn’t drive and he’d wait for a ride to work in the morning (he was a roofer). I’d see him waiting out on the front step and we’d talk.
After a few days passed with out seeing the guy I began to wonder. Gerald seemed to have disappeared. Either in jail or up and left town, I figured.
Before Gerald disappeared he (I assume) had put a couple of mid-sized potted plants on the wall by his steps. This was a bit odd, I thought; most single guys in their early twenties don’t mess with plants much. One pot contained a yellow marigold and the other was some tropical-looking plant with long lanceolate leaves.
I started watering these plants when I watered my own plants and eventually moved them over to my step wall.
This morning was cloudy, cool, and humid. Good bike-riding weather! At about seven AM I decided to ride over to the garden I share with my friend Jeff, just to see how the plantings were doing and to see if anything needed to be picked. I came down the stairs and saw that Gerald’s tropical plant was slowly unfurling a white blossom. The corolla (actually a spathe, I think) was coiled and white and it was ever-so-slowly attempting to free its tip from a slit in the side of the stem. I realized that the plant was probably a calla lily.
A beautiful sight; I went back upstairs to fetch my tripod and took this shot:
Notice the faint spiral of the coiled spathe, which over the next few days will unfurl as soon as the tip has extricated itself. I’d like to get a photo of the tip coming free. I wish I could safely leave my camera in position and get a time-lapse sequence, but that would be tempting fate and certain nocturnal prowlers of whom I’ve become aware.
I had a pleasant bike-ride to the garden plot, which is located in the back-yard of a friend. I picked a few eggplants and inspected the okra, a tropical-looking plant which originated in India. Since it was early and cloudy the hibiscus-like flowers were still furled. I wished I had brought the tripod with me.
Have a look at this flower and take notice of the maroon patch barely revealed at the base of the diaphanous furled petals. Towards the right is a cluster of chalice-like immature pods:
Another view of the soon-to-awaken flower. I think these photos turned out pretty well, considering that I was the tripod and the light was dim:
The pleated ruffles in the petals were strikingly beautiful, I thought.
Look at the clasping calyxes at the base of these pods in the next photo. How I love low and slanting morning light!
Once I was back home, as always it’s fun to plug the camera into a USB port and see if I captured any “keepers”!